Here's what the star-studded UFC 200 lineup looks like so far
Many of the action-packed fights expected for the highly anticipated UFC 200 have been confirmed by the UFC, and the fight card is looking as good as previously advertised by the world's biggest fight promotion.
The monumental card features three title bouts (one interim), a few No. 1-contender fights and a couple dream matchups for hardcore fans. So let's dig into the 10 fights announced for what is shaping up to be one of the more talent-filled events in UFC history.
As far as rivalries go, Jones vs. Cormier sits above the rest. The two top light heavyweights in the world simply don’t like either other and that hate has grown since their press tour to promote their original matchup. During that press tour, Jones and Cormier exchanged everything from expletives to punches and from there spawned one of the greatest rivalries in UFC history.
Jones enters the matchup coming off a win over Ovince Saint Preux, his first win after a 15-month layoff. In Jones absence, Cormier topped the ever-dangerous ‘Rumble’ Johnson for the vacant light heavyweight belt before chopping down Alexander Gustafsson for his first defense.
The rematch comes just in time, as tensions are still high between the former foes, and will Jones now holding the interim light heavyweight belt, title unification is on the line. Fans are in for a treat at UFC 200.
Their first fight was an absolute war, and with both guys eager to earn a shot at McGregor at the featherweight belt, fans should expect nothing less the second time around.
Aldo is coming off just his second-career loss, a first-round KO against McGregor, and will be taking the Octagon for the first time without a belt. He is without a doubt one of the greatest featherweights of all time, and a win another win over Edgar would put him in position for the rematch with McGregor he desperately wants.
Meanwhile, second-ranked featherweight Edgar has been clamoring for a title shot and believes his five straight wins, including three by stoppage, should warrant him as much. The UFC, however, feel differently and it appears Edgar will need to get a win over the last man to beat him, Aldo, for the interim title before challenging McGregor for the full title.
Regardless of the "interim" title tag, this is a matchup of two of promotions best fighters ever.
Miesha Tate may have decided to forgo the Holly Holm rematch for her first title defense, but challenger Amanda Nunes is no cakewalk.
Nunes was considered a threat to then-champion Ronda Rousey after back-to-back first-round finishes against Sara McMann and Shayna Baszler, but the UFC decided to go with Holm at the time. Nunes went on to dispatch tough women's bantamweight newcomer Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 196, the same card where Tate won the title from Holm, making the Brazilian even tougher to ignore.
We all knew about the grit and toughness of Tate heading into her matchup with Holm, but "Cupcake" showed she was even more resilient than some believed in coming away with the belt.
It'll no doubt be interesting to see how Tate's first title defense plays out against Nunes, who has finished all but one of her wins since 2011 in the first round.
Holy Smokes. That'll likely be the reaction when all is said and done between these two hard-hitting heavyweights.
Velasquez is looking to right the ship after losing his long-held championship belt to Fabricio Werdum and then being forced out of the rematch due to injury. When July 9 finally rolls around, it will have been over a year since Velasquez fought and nearly three years since he last won inside the Octagon.
Browne, currently ranked seventh in the division, needs this win to stay relevant in a very top-heavy UFC heavyweight division. He'll be looking to string together victories for the first time since 2013 and while a win would undoubtedly put him that much closer to a title shot, a loss could put him closer to the end of the line.
Both of these guys boast a KO/TKO rate over 78 percent, so odds are one of these guys will take care of business before the end of the third and final round.
As long as these guys make weight, fans should be in for a heck of a fight between a former champion and a fighter many have pegged as a titleholder down the line.
Hendricks, who has experienced more than his fair share of weight-cutting fails, needs this win to prevent slipping even further down the welterweight ranks. Since his title win over Robbie Lawler in 2014, Hendricks has lost two of his last three, and was forced to pull out of his matchup with Tyron Woodley because of complications due to a weight cut.
Gastelum, who also failed to make weight against Woodley, was once the division's golden prospect, having won all 11 of his fights up until that point, including winning season 16 of The Ultimate Fighter. But since the beginning of 2015, Gastelum has lost two of his last three and has lost a bit of the luster that helped fans hold him in such high regard.
A win over Hendricks would move Gastelum into the welterweight top 10 and that much closer to realizing his potential, while a victory for Hendricks puts him in prime potential to jump back into the title picture.
This recently announced fight marks the return two of the more skilled fighters in the women's bantamweight division.
Zingano has been rebuilding herself following a first-round submission loss to Ronda Rousey in February of 2015. "Alpha Cat" should be ready for war, however, since she'll be fighting on the same card two women she already has wins over -- Miesha Tate and Amanda Nunes.
Zingano's opponent, highly touted bantamweight Julianna Pena, will also be jumping back into the Octagon after a long layoff. The Ultimate Fighter season 18 winner has fully recovered from a gruesome knee injury that sidelined her for almost two years and scored back-to-back key wins in late 2015 to set up a matchup with Zingano.
The women's bantamweight division is hotter than ever, and with Rousey's return on the horizon, Holm waiting in the wings and the impending debut Cris Cyborg, Zingano or Pena would need an exceptionally strong finish to argue for the next shot.
While they may not be the biggest names on the UFC roster, eighth-ranked middleweight Gegard Mousasi and 11th-ranked Derek Brunson shouldn't disappoint when they step into the Octagon at UFC 200.
Brunson has beaten opponents left-and-right, with three straight first-round finishes in his last three outings. Even more impressive is that the 32-year-old has absorbed just four significant strikes in those performances.
Mousasi is a UFC and PRIDE veteran and former Strikeforce champion who has career wins over Jacare Souza, Mark Hunt (yes, Mark Hunt), Hector Lombard, Dan Henderson and Mark Munoz.
Both of these confident strikes will be looking to keep the fight standing and turn this bout into a fan-friendly boxing match.
Not much needs to be said about the legacy of these two UFC stalwarts.
Both have been fighting under the UFC banner since Pay-Per-View events were still in the single digits -- Lauzon debuted at UFC 63 while Sanchez was a cast member on the very first season of The Ultimate Fighter and made his first PPV appearance at UFC 54.
Neither is afraid to step into the Octagon and simply throw down, and while Lauzon is one of the best submission specialist in the game, the Gracie-trained Sanchez should present a good grappling matchup for the Boston-based Lauzon.
This one is sure to bring out the diehards.
Sage Northcutt is fighting and we are flipping out.
Despite the immense corniness of that joke, we are really excited for Northcutt's return. The 20-year-old has been an enigma inside and outside of the Octagon. It'll be interesting to see how he's grown since suffering his first professional loss in January and moving his camp to TriStar in Canada, where he's worked with Georges St-Pierre and Rory MacDonald.
Marin, a finalist during the second season of The Ultimate Fighter Latin America, will be making his first UFC appearance outside of the show. But with five first-round finishes on his record, he should present a pretty good challenge to Northcutt.
A classic striker vs. grappler matchup between these two legends is going down at UFC 200.
While they've both fallen upon tough times lately, going a combined 2-6 of their last eight fights, this bout presents an opportunity for Miller and Gomi to get back in the win column and potentially leave the game on their terms.